The Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria has called on the finance minister and coordinating minister for the economy, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and director-general of the Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogu, to explain to Nigerians how the foreign reserves of the country got depleted to what it termed its present laughable state.
The trade union also advised the federal government to immediately caution Okonjo-Iweala and Okogu over their claims that the civil service consumes 37 per cent of the recurrent expenditure in the country’s annual federal budget.
The TUC in a statement signed by its national president, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and general-secretary, Comrade Musa Lawal, accused the finance minister of feeding the public with false information on the issue of wages of civil servants.
The statement reads in part: “We refer to reported claims by the duo that the civil service consumes 37 per cent of the recurrent expenditure in the country’s annual federal budget. Surely this is overly speculative on the part of both federal officers.
“So also is their assertion that the total number of federal civil servants is about 1,000,000. Perhaps the ministry of finance and the Budget Office should publish the salaries and other emoluments of all civil servants, with details of what each ministry, department and agency (MDAs) spends as remuneration each month.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to let it be known that the total number of federal civil servants is less than 100,000, while the rest of the figure touted by Okonjo-Iweala and Okogu are public servants in the federal higher institutions of learning, the military, the police, the fire service, Customs, Immigration, the Central Bank, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other agencies of the government.
“As a country struggling to come out of the financial woods, we certainly could do without the goof by the minister and the director-general”, the TUC said.